Before I start my blog entry I would like to thank the British Ambassadors’s to Turkey wife Maggie Moore for all the support and being a Pioneer of the project.
Having a guide dog has been a roller coaster ride all together- mixed feelings,lots of confusion and moments of unexpected occurences are all part of the experience I have had during the initial stages of the process.
I knew Kara from before; however, when I had met her for the first time in Ankara, my heart wouldn’t stop throbbing. There were various reasons that had led to this reaction of course: I had never had a dog before and the idea that Kara and I will be starting a new life together. A life where I wont rely on another individual to hold my arm and guide me along the way, a life where I have more flexibility and independence.
The first stages of my training left me feeling really excited about the entire procedure. The fact that I had a fund-raising event to look after and my zero experience with dogs were thoughts that always bothered me, but with time things fell into place.
I still remember first night when Kara slept in my room. I woke up at 2:30 AM to notice that she was snoring loudly! I couldn’t stop laughing at the situation. This explains that having a guide dog is not just about following rules, one needs to make most out of silly experiences and enjoy, hence develop an understanding. Similarly the following morning, when we went out for a walk and her toilet routine, I left the leash by mistake and Kara escaped leaving me confused so I started calling out her name. Kara noticed that I was calling her and came back. Also, when Kara was constantly stopping by the stairs, Alan Brooks (who is guide dogs mobility instructor from UK) advised me to praise her with every stop. This was a challenge all together, since sometimes I would forget to praise her. However, with time I got used to it.
I’m so glad Kara and I have developed an understanding of love and care. This reflects that both of us share equal responsibility towards eachother. I understand that she needs my love and wants to be looked after by me, realizing this factor is one of the main reasons why I feel comfortable having a guide dog today. Finally, a note of appreciation for Winky for being an amazing puppy walker.